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Condi Rice coming soon to CBS – and Stockton

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is coming soon to a television, and a speaking engagement, near you.

Condoleezza-Rice-photo-by-Steve-Gladfelter-Stanford.jpgCBS News announced yesterday that Rice, 58, who is now a Stanford professor and Hoover Institution senior fellow, is now a CBS News contributor, effective immediately. “In this role, the former Secretary of State will use her insight and vast experience to explore issues facing America at home and abroad,” the news release said.

Rice, who was President George W. Bush’s Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009 and his National Security Advisor from 2001 to 2005, is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates LLC, an international business consulting firm.

She will be featured at a March 21 forum on “Advancing Women’s Leadership,” to be held at the University of the Pacific’s Alex G. Spanos Center; tickets cost $25 and will go on sale tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 22) at the university’s box office. Proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stockton and the University’s Women’s Resource Center.

The forum aims to inspire participants, especially young women, to make a lasting, positive and powerful impact in the communities where they live and work.

“We are thrilled and proud to bring Dr. Condoleezza Rice to Stockton,” Kathleen Lagorio Janssen, chair of University of the Pacific’s Board of Regents and a member of the Advancing Women’s Leadership planning committee, said in a news release. “Her vast accomplishments on the national and global stages are an inspiration to all aspiring leaders, men and women, who are working to improve the lives of those around them.”

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CBS’ Schieffer objects to Romney campaign’s ad

The campaign of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney launched this ad yesterday:

http://youtu.be/roodiGY0W1A

Bob Schieffer, CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent and anchor of “Face the Nation” – and the first face you see in Romney’s ad – said yesterday he’s not amused.

“Obviously, I have no connection with the Romney campaign. This was done without our permission. It comes as a total surprise to me,” he said on his show yesterday. “That was a question that I posed to David Axelrod, the president’s campaign manager. I wasn’t stating something there. I was asking somebody else a question.”

Actually, it appears this was a question that Schieffer had posed to former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during the May 27 show. He did, however, ask similar questions of Axelrod one week later.

I’m not a big fan of journalists’ words being taken out of context to score political points – but then again, Schieffer did choose to pose that question using those words. What are your thoughts?

19

Pete Stark’s Minuteman mockery makes waves

Rep. Pete Stark’s sharp tone with critics once again has earned him national attention, as a video clip of Stark’s caustic repartee with a Minuteman anti-illegal-immigration activist earns major media coverage.

The video, shot by Steve Kemp of the Golden Gate Minutemen at Stark’s town-hall meeting last Saturday in Fremont, shows the Congressman needling a critic who asked about border security:

“This guy has been at every one of my town meetings and immediately gone to the Web sites, so he’s a regular. I do recognize him,” Stark said this afternoon. “I didn’t mind needling him a bit.”

But Kemp was interviewed today on Fox News’s “Your World;” CBS News and CNN have picked it up; and the Minuteman PAC is using it as a rallying cry.

“It’s an absolute outrage that a United States Congressman cares so little for his constituents and so little about the security and sovereignty of the United States that he had the gumption to ridicule and belittle his own constituents. But that’s exactly what happened!” Minutemen PAC development director Brett Anthony wrote in an e-mail blast today. “Americans are fed up with being shunned, lied to, tricked, and jeered at simply for fighting to uphold the freedom and liberty for which forefathers paid the ultimate price to guarantee.”

The phones are ringing off the hook on Capitol Hill. “We’re getting hundreds of calls, none of them from the district I might add, from all over the country saying, ‘What do you have against the Minutemen?’ or whatever,” Stark said.

So… what does he have against them?

“They see themselves as an independent militia, which may have been alright in George Washington’s time but today the government operates under rules and laws that control everybody,” he said, noting there are 20,000 border patrol agents – twice the number of a decade ago – deployed along 2,000 miles of border. “It seems to me just that number alone ought to convince them that the fed government is doing a pretty good job controlling the influx of people coming in from Mexico.”

Stark said the whole debate is “a xenophobic issue, it doesn’t differ much in Florida where they’re fearful of people from Haiti or Cuba, or New York where there’s a huge Puerto Rican population – and they’re citizens!” What it comes down to, he said, is fear of “people who speak with an accent.”

“I’m sad that that’s where our district is, but they’re not alone – it’s one of the premiere political issues of today,” he said.

As for his sarcasm, he said… well, he’s not really going into the ladder business. “That’s been a bad joke for a thousand years.”

“As I tried to explain in a more serious way, people who come across, particularly the Arizona border, they pay an awful fee to these coyotes to get them there and then they’re just dumped there on the border and they’ve got a couple hundred miles of the worst desert in our country to get across on foot,” Stark said. “They’re coming here to try to earn money to send home to their families and its hard to disrespect that, that’s an instinct that people with families have.”

This is the one thing on which he agreed with former President George W. Bush, he said – that the United States needs a comprehensive immigration reform bill including a path illegal immigrants can follow to attain legal, permanent residency. “I think we’re the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn’t have at least a system for allowing that to happen, and I think that causes us a lot of problems.”

UPDATE @ 4:14 P.M. WEDNESDAY 7/7: Steve Kemp just posted this to the comments, and I thought it should be appended to the post itself:

I posted this video to enlighten people who continually vote people like Stark in without a second thought of the consequences. I was born in Oakland & have watched as city after city passed laws that leave a sane person’s mouth hanging in disbelief.

With SF, Oakland, Richmond & SJ declaring themselves “sanctuary cities” for illegal aliens, our cities are looking more like third world countries than the USA!

Is it the American dream to break laws to enter a country, work under the table as the norm or steal identities to get a job, pack 2 or 3 families into a single family dwelling, drive without a license or insurance, & ignore the language spoken in America?

CA & its cities have broken under the stress of supporting illegal aliens. This is because liberal politicians such as Stark, Boxer, Pelosi, Newsom, Lee, De La Fuente & countless others have trashed our ‘American Dream’ in favor of illegal aliens.

We need leaders who place America & Americans FIRST. Anything else is treason.

6

Hollywood coughs it up for Jerry Brown

Television producer (“Alias,” “Lost”) and movie director (“Cloverfield,” “Star Trek”) J.J. Abrams of Pacific Palisades gave $25,000 Tuesday to state Attorney General Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial exploratory committee. His wife, actress Katie McGrath, gave another $25,000.

A day earlier, producer Kathleen Kennedy – who with director Steven Spielberg and her husband Frank Marshall has made films such as the “Jurassic Park” series and “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” – gave Brown’s campaign $5,000.

And former Warner Bros. and CBS executive Robert Daly, now president of investment consulting firm Rulemaker Inc., gave $25,000 to Brown’s campaign, also Monday.

Other big-ticket, non-Hollywood contributions to Brown’s campaign in the past week include $50,000 on Monday from Los Angeles billionaire businessman Stewart Resnick and his wife, Lynda; $38,000 last Friday from Los Angeles real estate development mogul Curtis Tamkin, plus $5,000 on Monday from his son, Comerica Entertainment Group corporate banker Curtis Tamkin Jr.; and $25,000 on Monday from designer Diane Von Furstenberg plus $10,000 the same day from her son, Arrow Capital Management chief investment officer Alex Von Furstenberg.

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CD10: CBS poll shows Garamendi leads by 10 points

Harmer

Harmer

Garamendi

Garamendi

A new CBS Channel 5 poll conducted by SurveyUSA shows Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi ahead of his GOP opponent David Harmer by 10 points.

Garamendi received 50 percent support, while Harmer took 40 percent followed by 6 percent for one of the three minor party candidates. Only 4 percent were undecided.

Folks may recall that SurveyUSA is the same outfit KPIX hired to do several pre-primary polls in this race. They turned out to be remarkably accurate.

The results of the only independent poll in this race reflect a wider gap than what Harmer’s campaign people said their internal poll of several weeks ago, a trend that should have gone the other direction if Harmer was gaining traction.

But given Democrats’ 18-point registration lead in the 10th District, it seems as though Garamendi ought to have a bigger lead.

The answer may be found in the results for decline-to-state voter, where Harmer leads 42 to 35 percent; it’s a group Harmer has targeted.

SurveyUSA conducted the automated robo-style survey of 581 registered voters on Oct. 26-28. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percent.

In its other findings:

1) Half of the respondents have already voted by mail

2) Garamendi leads among women, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Democrats, moderates, liberals, college graduates, pro-choice voters and Obama supporters.

3) Harmer leads among Republicans, independents, conservatives, regular church-goers, pro-life voters, gun-owners and McCain supporters.

Click here to download the poll from KPIX’s Web site.

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DiFi: Assault weapons ban won’t return soon

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who helped author the 1994 federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, tells Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes” she’ll hold off trying to renew the ban; the segment will air at 7 p.m. this Sunday, April 12 on CBS Channel 5. From CBS’ news release:

Asked by Stahl if trying to renew the assault weapons ban would start a culture war and pose a distraction for an already overburdened Obama Administration, Feinstein replies, “I agree with you.” “So you are going to hold off?” asks Stahl. “That’s correct. I’ll pick the time and the place, no question about it,” Feinstein tells Stahl.

But even if she pursued the renewal, the votes may not be there today in either the Senate or the House. Both Houses of Congress gained pro-gun Democrats this past election, some of whom won the support of the National Rifle Association. “I am not going to disagree with that at all,” says Feinstein. “The National Rifle Association essentially has a stranglehold on the Congress.”


Watch CBS Videos Online

This gibes with what Rep. Pete Stark told me earlier this week when I asked him about the assault weapons ban.

CBS said the Feinstein interivew is part of Stahl’s report on the increase of gun sales in America, wherein she also talks to gun enthusiasts who tell her Americans are buying more guns now, in part, due to fear of impending social unrest as a result of the financial meltdown.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a pro-guns advocacy group, explains: “We’re being told all the time that, ‘The economy could just collapse and we could fall into chaos.’ Well, chaos is a good reason to be able to protect yourself… You could imagine if we truly had a collapse of the economy and it was hard to find food, those that did manage to hang onto food—might…find themselves in a precarious position.”’ Van Cleave tells Stahl the other main reason is fear of potential gun control under new President Barack Obama.

This smacks of wingnuttery to me. We survived the Great Depression without stockpiling weapons — why must this recession suddenly become prelude to “The Road Warrior?” Go ahead and argue for Second Amendment rights, fine, but it’s insulting to claim Americans are ready to go all post-apocalyptic and start eating each others’ kids due to an economic downturn. Hysteria in the face of hardship is downright un-American, I’d say.

And aside from all the paranoia about Obama, I’d like to know exactly what he has done to engender this “fear of potential gun control.” If anyone has been stoking that fear, it’s the NRA — thereby making a lot of money for gun manufacturers and dealers.